An effective and fun retractable tow rope that allows young riders to ride without the stress of having to keep up.
**The Bicycle Bungee is no longer available in the US**
Bicycle Bungee Review
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Parents of beginning pedal bike riders who need a little help keeping up on longer rides.
MOUNT TYPE: Rear frame
SUGGESTED AGE RANGE: 4 to adult
Bicycle Bungee Full Review
Too old for a trailer, yet too young to keep up, going on family bike rides with young riders can be a challenge. Once they’ve experienced the independence and joy of riding on their own, kids are no longer content simply being a passenger; they want part of the action, but simply can’t keep up. While we were skeptical at first, we found the Bicycle Bungee to be the perfect solution for our four-year-old son.
With four months of pedaling under his belt, our son tester had the desire to ride, but not the stamina. The perfect combination of guidance and independence, the Bicycle Bungee allows the adult rider to tow and pace another rider (even an adult!) while still allowing them to pedal and steer on their own. While using the Bungee, I loved knowing and feeling that my son was nearby without having to look back to see him and my son was reassured knowing that he was connected and could not lose me. Also, compared to a trailer, the additional weight felt by the towing bike is minimal.
How it Works
The Bicycle Bungee is a retractable bungee cord built with the perfect combination of elasticity and strength. The cord coils in a carbon-fiber housing mounted to the seat post of the towing bike. A plastic hook attaches the bungee to the bike being towed. While in use, the difference in speed is “absorbed” by the Bicycle Bungee, creating a smooth ride for both riders. The changes in speed cause the coil to extend and retract, keeping the bungee tight. During our tests, we found the spring coil inside the Bungee, to make a slight noise when extending and retracting, helping the towing rider to determine whether the bike being towed is getting closer or farther away. Being able to “hear” my son’s speed helped me to manage my speed according to his needs without having to turn around.
The Bungee attaches with a hook onto the stem of the bike. The hook easily fit around the stem of the 16″ bike shown. Other bikes, however, required us to wrap the Bungee around the stem and through the hook. In all cases, the hook stayed securely and even though a few tried, our testers were not able to unhook themselves when riding.
Riding with Children
Throughout out testing period, we were able to successfully tow five different kids aged 4 to 11 for various distances and learned several “best practices” along the way. With all ages, we found it vital to instruct them not to brake without warning before with being towed. Before taking them on a longer ride, we towed each of them at a slow speed and had them practice verbally yelling “brake” before they began to brake. As the lead bicycle, it is also important to warn the rider you are towing that you are coming to a stop. In one case, our four-year-old applied his brakes without warning, which lead to a crash. The slight noise made by the bungee rapidly extending allowed me to quickly brake, preventing any injuring or damage to the bike.
Teaching kids to properly unlatching the hook is also essential. Our young testers were all curious about the Bungee and attempted to play with it. While extended, one of them accidentally unhooked the bungee, sending it flying towards the towing rider. While a rapid recoil should be prevented, the Bicycle Bungee retracted into its case without harming or even coming into contact with the towing rider.
Bottom Line: A simple, effective and fun way to allow young riders to experience riding without the stress of having to keep up when tired. Suitable for use for any kids on pedal bikes (without training wheels!). Requires 3″ of seat post to mount. Fits all standard seat post diameters from 27.2 mm to 31 mm.